Stefan Murphy is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and the creative mastermind behind the mostly Berlin, Germany-based New Wave and post-punk-inspired recording project Count Vaseline. Interestingly, Murphy started the project during a creative spell — and after a handful of live shows, Murphy went to the U.S. to write and record his Count Vaseline debut Yo No Soy Marinero, a deeply personal effort that focuses on what may have been one of the more difficult times of his own life — and as a result, the album is kind of a debaucherous romp that celebrates both his trials and tribulations and creativity while in Berlin.
Of course, Murphy’s decision to decision to stay in the US was followed by an earth-shattering Presidential election that still has countless people reeling, and his recently released sophomore effort Cascade thematically focuses on the depressingly cyclical patterns of both world history and world politics and the overall sense of pervasive doom; however, the album’s latest single “Russia” is an account of two lovers desperately trying to break free from the constraints and horrors of the modern world. And while deliberately performed at 117 beats per minute — the same beats per minute as Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” — the song manages to sound like what would happen if Duran Duran had covered Echo and the Bunnymen’s “Bring on the Dancing Horses” but with a young Ian McCulloch taking up vocal duties.
Directed by Kevin Brannigan and David Thomas Smith, the recently released video for “Russia” is decidedly an 80s-inspired video — in particular seemingly drawing influence from the music videos for Echo and the Bunnymen’s “Lips Like Sugar,” and “The Killing Moon,” and others, as it features a brooding, Slavic-looking woman vamping and strutting in front of a screen showing images of everyday Russian life while cutting to stock footage of warfare in Russia and elsewhere and of Russian gymnasts.